If you’ve found yourself confused by all the various messaging apps that you are now being “forced” to use (why can’t all your friends and colleagues just use one app?) to communicate with various people in your life, then what you need is just one app where you can read all your incoming messages. That’s the thinking behind the new app, Snowball, which is still in its beta version but may save your sanity to some extent.
You can think of Snowball as an “inbox” that shows your conversations from all of your favourite apps in one place. It organizes messages in the same way that you think about them: by person, instead of by app. And it’s always one swipe way, so you don’t have to waste time hunting for app icons on your homescreen. Here is a demo of how it works.
Anish Acharya and Jeson Patel became friends in college, at the University of Waterloo, Canada. After graduating, they worked at Amazon and Microsoft, respectively, but eventually decided to ditch their comfortable jobs to try to make something on their own, landing on the idea for a games platform for smartphones.
Google Ventures funded app Snowball tries to solve that problem by unifying popular messaging services, by letting users access multiple services at once. At launch, it supports:SMS, WhatsApp, FacebookMessenger, GoogleHangouts, Twitter, Line,WeChat, Snapchat, and Slack. It acts as an inbox for notifications from all these apps. The app uses chat heads for notifications, similar to the pop-ups Facebook Messenger shows on the Android home screen.[blockquote right=”pull-right”]Anish Acharya and Jeson Patel became friends in college, at the University of Waterloo, Canada. After graduating, they worked at Amazon and Microsoft, respectively, but eventually decided to ditch their comfortable jobs to try to make something on their own, landing on the idea for a games platform for smartphones. [/blockquote]
According to Techcrunch , after setting up an account, the Snowball icon floats on top of the Android homescreen like a “Chat Head,” showing you how many new messages you have in each messaging client. With a tap, you can then launch the selected messaging app in order to respond. The company doesn’t want to become another chat client itself, Acharya stresses. “We want to become symbiotic,” he says
The app itself is basically a notification reader though, so it has an odd use case. All it does is read your incoming notifications, catch the ones that come from a messaging app, show it to you, and gather those notifications together in an inbox. Right now, it is in beta and only supports Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, SMS, Hangouts, Twitter, Line, WeChat, and Slack, but there are more apps coming soon.
The odd thing is that when you tap a notification from Snowball or in your Snowball inbox, all it does is bounce you into the app the message came from, so you can reply. So, we’re not quite sure why you couldn’t just use the normal Android notification tray for this. Worse, if a notification doesn’t come in (say you catch a Hangouts message on your computer before it goes to your phone), that message won’t be saved in Snowball’s inbox.
Have you tried Snowball out? What’s your experience?
Get in touch! email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +447942 861 584. I lead Exodus IT Solutions to design, develop and manage mobile apps for enterprise and consumer programmes
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